Hoehler Handmade Knives, South Africa

Hoehler, South Africa

About David Hoehler

My love of knives started at a very young age, I got my first swiss army knife in nursery school. My dad collected knives, which is where I picked up my passion for knives. I spent my youth going through old knife books in my dad’s study or in his garage making “knives” from scrap lead he used to cast bullets with or making arrowheads from old nails. I even made a throwing axe from a piece a steel plate I found. There was a winter where I used our anthracite heater as a forge and hammer some mild steel on a piece of old railroad track. I attended the guild show at Gold Reef City when I was about 10 or 11 I’ll never forget seeing my first liner lock and piece of Damascus I was amazed, to say the least.

In my adult years, a spent 8 years as a professional chef (mainly because I got to play with knives all day. Mid-2014 I need a local maker by the name of Terry Smith and he really sent me on my journey to become a knifemaker. I started off with a small 1×30 grinder which wasn’t easy, I was lucky to find a proper grinder for a bargain price enabled me to make “proper” knives. I completed my first knife in December 2014 and joined the North Coast Knifemakers club at the beginning of 2015.

If it wasn’t for the club and its members I would be nowhere as a knifemaker. Especially a big thank you to Stefan Deiderick’s for all his help, he has been my mentor and a good friend. I did my first Durban Easter Knife Show in 2016 which was an absolute dream come true. I got to meet some legends in SA knifemaking.

Currently, I’m trying to specialize in kitchen knives which have been so much fun to make. But I make all types of knives.

David was accepted into the Knife Guild of Southern Africa in 2022.

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